Sunday, March 05, 2006

Jazz and the Culture Wars (continued)

It looks like Dave Douglas picked up on a post of mine from a few weeks ago, talking about his comments on the culture wars, and how jazz fits in there. You can read the whole post here.

First, I'm quite honored that Dave checked out what I had to say, and found it worthy of a response. In regards to Dave's comments, I agree, that the merits of the inclusive approach are great, that's personally what I'm all about. Actually when you think about it, one of the great things about jazz, despite the efforts to erect walls (whether it's cannonization of the music, or dismissal of the merit of some musicians because of a supposed lack of required amount of innovation, etc) in the end, the music ALWAYS rises above the politics of those playing it. That's because the music is bigger than any one artist, organization, record label, style, you name it. People lament that the record labels aren't spending money on jazz anymore. And the music goes on. People lament, "where is the next Coltrane" and the music goes on. People say "jazz sales only make up two percent of the market (including that annyoing guy with the long curly hair who plays one note)" and the music goes on. Dave is right when he says the music "can't be ruined". But for the sake of jazz journalists, and people with varying agendas, the jazz wars will continue on, (I mean they've got to have SOMETHING to write about!) and perhaps there is some good in that - after all it makes you question your own thoughts and assumptions (or at least it should) and that can certainly be a good thing. But at the end of the day, to all those outside the ring, it's little more than talk.